How to trot without stirrups? :( - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 04:07 PM
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I ride bareback regularly because I'm too lazy to tack up properly :P for the life of me I cannot get posting without stirrups, I don't think my legs are strong enough... but sitting is easy for me ever since I figured out to relax my hips, back and inner thighs, while keeping my lower leg in contact with my horse, heels down, and core engaged.

It has helped my riding immensely to do no-stirrup work... I had to stop for a while due to the pony I had at the time bucking me off EVERY SINGLE TIME I rode him bareback or stirrupless, but then I sold him and got Monty, who was lacking in topline and really uncomfortable to ride bareback (and I had saddle issues at the time and couldn't keep my position well enough without stirrups). I really struggled with sitting the trot, especially in my dressage saddle, and then I started riding bareback again once Monty's topline had built up, and discovered that I actually CAN sit the trot, stay with my horse when he's trotting his big ground-covering trot, and jump higher than 2' bareback and not fall off. I have issues trusting him in the canter bareback but that's due to some nasty falls I have had off him, and feeling more vulnerable bareback.

Bareback and no-stirrup work are amazing when done right. I think the trick is to make sure you're moving with your horse, not ahead, and not behind. Move as much as necessary but as little as possible, and above all make sure that your core is engaged, your legs are in contact with your horse but NOT SQUEEZING, and your back is relaxed. It's the most incredible feeling when you get it right. My boy lifts and swings through his back like you wouldn't believe when I'm riding bareback. I'm sure he does it in a saddle too but I don't feel it as much.

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post #12 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 04:20 PM
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I have been working on my no stirrup work a lot lately. What I used to try and do was to keep my legs as if they were in the stirrups. I found this often got me unbalanced and kept me tense (then the horse would speed up). What my new instructor told me to do was to let my legs hang straight and heels down. Sit up tall and breath. I get nervous sometimes when she speeds up, so I sing a song and look absolutely crazy but it takes my mind off the nervousness. Plus singing helps me get into a rythme with my hips and horse :P
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post #13 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 05:24 PM
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CowboysDream, the REAL benefit of singing is that it MAKES you breathe. You don't have a choice, if you're singing or talking you have to breathe otherwise you run out of air to push through your voice box.

That breathing relaxes your body which makes you feel less nervous. It doesn't take your mind off the nerves - it actually alleviates them to a certain degree by forcing your body to calm down.

I must remember to sing when I'm jumping... I'm nearly fearless but I get breathless really quick which I'm assuming means I hold my breath because I'm not THAT unfit!
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post #14 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 06:57 PM
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Building off this topic, would you grip with your calves if you're trying to post with no stirrups and ride dressage?

I've been doing more stirrup-less work lately, and can sit the trot just fine, but am not sure I'm doing the posting trot correctly or not!
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post #15 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 07:06 PM
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You don't grip, you keep contact with your lower leg. Gripping raises the heel and drives the horse forward and may confuse a more sensitive/educated horse. You just keep a contact and keep the heel down.

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post #16 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 07:09 PM
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When I do posting with no stirrups it almost feels like I am pushing/rolling up with my inner thighs. It feels weird because I didn't even know I had those muscles to use before.

I am not sure if this is what you are supposed to do, but I feel it helps me control my posting (and stops me from bouncing on her back). Plus makes my thighs feel super sore! In a good way.
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post #17 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 07:16 PM
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As far as I'm aware, CD, that's about right. It's how I feel posting bareback anyway. And yep, it kills the thighs!

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post #18 of 21 Old 10-11-2012, 01:01 PM
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I'll have to keep trying then... I don't think I've ever done it right
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post #19 of 21 Old 10-11-2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verona1016 View Post
I'll have to keep trying then... I don't think I've ever done it right
What does it feel like when you try?
And where do you keep your legs / what do you do with them?
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post #20 of 21 Old 10-12-2012, 01:55 AM
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Mostly it feels like I'm flopping around It's not pleasant for me, and I can't imagine it's pleasant for my horse, either.

I can walk, sit the trot, and canter without stirrups without any problems. I just can't figure out what I'm supposed to do with my legs to post. I've tried leaving them loose, gripping/stabilizing myself with different parts of the leg (knees worked best of what I've tried, even though I know that's not the right thing to do) My legs hang down straight- my saddle puts me in a pretty correct position for dressage.
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